Monday, 13 September 2010

Comfort eating or comfort exercise

In many varied ways, people can be over-simplistically divided into two groups. There are the haves and the have-nots. North and South. Blue collar, white collar. Bloggers and others. Blond or bruin (Belgian beer).
And when it comes to weight loss, there are also many distinctions that can be made. Obese or overweight. Weight or fat %. Kg or lbs. Diet or exercise.

My thoughts this morning turned to comfort eating. Something I know I, let me re-phrase, something I positively enjoy. And I know many others do too. But what about comfort exercise? Is there also a comfort eater/exerciser dichotomy?

The first question to myself was: Do people really exist that do comfort exercise? Shocked at my naivety, of course there are. It's entirely possible though, that very few of them are overweight and writing weight loss blogs.

So could I turn myself from a comfort eater into a comfort exerciser? Can I learn to recognise the triggers, pause and accept that I need comfort, embrace the weakness, and then choose to exercise as comfort instead of eat? Think of all the lovely endorphins coursing through my body (instead of calories and fat molecules...)

I'm not entirely sure whether I can or not. After all, there is a reason why comfort eating is so much more prevalent (or at least appears that way...). It's an awful lot quicker and easier to grab and stuff down a doughnut (or a donut if you prefer, or substitute your own comfort food of choice) than it is to change into your running gear and trainers and go for a run. And sugar (as well as salt and fat) is addictive so the brain wants it bad. And the rush is faster too. But it's also more short-lived. And the exercise-induced endorphin rush isn't quickly followed by regret, self-loathing and the desire for even more...I don't think?!?

I imagine a couple of friends seeing me run down the street. Wouldn't it be great if their current reaction: "Poor Moose, he has to run to lose weight because he's so fat from comfort eating," could change into "Poor Moose, he has to run because he's a comfort exerciser."

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